This panel will critically engage conventional and contrasting approaches and understandings of wellbeing through the concept of place as an empirical and ontological category.
This panel presents a forum for the critical engagement with conventional and contrasting approaches and understandings of wellbeing. Our panel aims to: 1) contribute to the emerging scholarship that calls for more complex and culturally nuanced considerations of "the everyday business of living in the world" (Whatmore 1999:30); 2) takes indigenous complex understandings of the world and how to live in it seriously; 3) responds to recent calls for "place-based" understandings of wellbeing; and 4) shows the methodological contributions of rigorous ethnography to wellbeing scholarship. Are discussions of wellbeing not also ontological discussions of what it means to be human? If so, do different understandings of "wellbeings" beget different modes of humanities? The interdisciplinary nature of wellbeing scholarship focuses mainly on affluent societies of the North, hence mainstream ideas of wellbeing are framed within grand Western narratives of what it means to be human. What does a consideration of "place" bring to current understandings of wellbeing? In what ways do "alternative" understandings of wellbeing based on different modes of humanity challenge conventional ideas debated in mainstream scholarship and policy debates? Can such understandings of wellbeing represent possible viable alternatives to mainstream universalising concepts of wellbeing? We invite ethnographic and non-ethnographic papers that reflect critically on the importance that "place" as an empirical and ontological category plays in considerations of wellbeing cross-culturally.